Home » First Black Astronaut Ed Dwight Goes to Space 60 Years Later

First Black Astronaut Ed Dwight Goes to Space 60 Years Later

by The Root

Never give up on your dreams. I know it’s a cheesy phrase that gets used much too often, but Ed Dwight is an example of why never giving up is a good idea that’ll eventually pay off.

On Sunday, Dwight, the first Black astronaut candidate in U.S. history, saw his dreams come true as he rocketed into space with Jeff Bezos’ rocket company Blue Origin, according to the New York Times.

In the process, Dwight, 90, also became the oldest person in world history to go into space, passing actor William Shatner by just a couple of months. He was one of six people on the 10-minute flight when the rocket took off at a private launch site just outside of Van Horn, Texas.

More from the New York Times:

After Mr. Dwight, who is now a sculptor, was selected for the Blue Origin flight, he told The New York Times that finally making it to space was not justice, but something that should have happened at some point.

“My whole life has been about getting things done,” Mr. Dwight said. “This is the culmination.”

Dwight was an Air Force pilot who was originally selected to be an astronaut in 1961 in an effort by President John F. Kennedy to add more people of color to their space program, according to the New York Times.

Although he was championed by the White House and the Black community, Dwight was never selected to be an astronaut despite graduating from the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

When Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, the momentum for Dwight to go into space started to fade; in 1966, he left the Air Force.

If things had happened differently, Dwight may have been the first Black man to go into space instead of Guy Bluford. But despite things not working out decades ago, Dwight was still able to make world history.

Read the full article here

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